Panama has one of the larges diversities of birds in the world, and amazingly, with easy access for enthusiasts. For a list of recommended books, please click here: Books on Birds of Panama
We specially recommend A Guide to the Birds of Panama by Robert S. Ridgely, John A. Gwynne. Revised and expanded edition of a marvelous field guide to some 1,000 species in this rich and varied (and threatened) region. About 850 of the species are illustrated, most on 48 color plates, of which 19 were newly prepared for their edition. Follows the sequence and taxonomy of the 1983 check-list of the American Ornithologists Union
Birdwatchers long ago staked out Panama as one of their favorite habitats. With an astonishing 944 species in the country belonging to 59 families, birders accompanied by an experienced guide should have no problem sighting 350 species in a week! We most note that there are 11 endemic species to Panama, and an additional 64 endemics shared only with Costa Rica. Please visit our partial list of Panama's Birds.
What do you need for bird watching in Panama? Comfortable walking shoes, loose-fitting clothing, a light jacket, insect repellent, binoculars, spotting scope and of course your camera.
Where can you go for bird watching? Surprisingly, one of the sites with the most birds in the country, the famed Pipeline Road, is found just 20 minutes from Panama City. Most birders will start their tours with at least a day here, walking a road that passes through primary and secondary rainforest in the Soberania National Park. Here they'll see lots of trogons, caciques, woodpeckers, ant shrikes, ant wrens, hummingbirds, fruit crows and many more. So far, 380 species have been recorded along Pipeline road. In fact, pipe line road has a record for the most birds watched in a single day, several years straight.
Adventurous birders will, of course, head to Cana, in the Darien province. Cana, rated one of the top ten birding sites in the world, is home to an astonishing diversity of bird life, including four species of macaws, as well as several species endemic to the Darien.
In the lovely little town of Boquete, in the province of Chiriqui, you can admire roadsides festooned with brilliant impatiens and clear, mountain streams where Torrent Tyrannulets are commonly seen. A hike into the forest nearby is likely to produce a Resplendent Quetzal and many other highland species.
On the country's Caribbean side, some birders will explore Nusagandi in San Blas or walk the Achiote Road for lots of raptor sightings.
A birdwatcher’s dream vacation, Panama offers more species than any other country of North or Central America, easy access to great birding sites, and a very safe environment.
Note: We must stress the fact that these are just a few of the places for bird watching. Your local bird watching chapter, or Panama's Audubon Society, can also give you further information. There are also several Tour Operators which specialize in nature which can guide you and provide you with the best for bird watching.
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